Ikea excitement builds up
She took the afternoon off, and lined up outside Ikea. And she is now in! The husband, an Egyptian expatriate and a longterm Qatar resident, is headed there to join her. And he says “My twelve-year-old daughter, displaying even more enthusiasm and anticipation, cleared all the furniture from her room and made it clear to us, her parents, that she is expecting her room to be accessorized with only Ikea furniture.”
After more than a year of furious speculation resulting in the several social media storms brewing over its opening date, Ikea will finally open doors to its base in Doha on March 11. However, select residents have received e-invites to the Family Day, which will test the store’s operational capacity. These invites though went viral through social media and email in barely an hour after they were sent out.
Undoubtedly, the news has got people all over the city raging to visit the store ahead of its scheduled opening on March 11.
Some people on Twitter and Facebook said they wouldn’t be going there on family day or the first day either.
@justhereq Got invite, not going. The MILDEST outcome is people stuck in car park till 2am. Worst case outcome doesn’t bear thinking about
— Amy Bambridge (@escapetoqatar) March 7, 2013
@justhereq have an invite not going as it maybe chaotic
— Rachel Morris (@rachelannmorris) March 7, 2013
@justhereq have an invite but not going. Don’t fancy being a guinea pig!
— Babs (@LivinginDoha) March 7, 2013
Contrary to expectations, there were no disorderly crowds at Ikea on Family Day. Family Day, which ran from 5pm through 10pm, was a valuable preview into the store. Along with its trademark fascinating displays of a wide variety of furniture and other home accessories, Ikea’s very first store in Qatar does very well on the customer service front. Friendly and always ready to help, the staff at Ikea was multinational and assisted customers in different languages too.
Customer checkout counters though opened up only at 8pm. Free snacks were available too. Overall, there were no major complaints. However, the official opening day is Monday, March 11, which would be the real test in crowd management for the store.